Only ten days after the enthralling 5,000 m race at the #Commonwealth Games where she surged through the final lap to clinch bronze (and nearly silver) behind the Kenyans, Jo Pavey once again rolled back the clock at the European Championships. This time, though the colour of the medal changed to gold in the 10,000 m.

Without the African runners, you could argue that the standard of competition was not as high. Having said that, she was racing against athletes like French runner Clemence Clavin who had clocked times twenty seconds quicker than her season's best. The most significant factor was that Calvin was 16 years her junior and, at the age of 40, Pavey was old enough to be mother to some of the competing athletes.

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The fact that Pavey is indeed a mother adds to her remarkable story. Indeed, her second child, Emily, was born only eleven months ago and she also has a four-year old son, Jacob. Qualifying times had to be posted by May and at that point Pavey was not even sure if she would be running:

"I didn't know if I would even qualify for the Championships because I was still breastfeeding at the start of April. My times at the track were pretty bad but I thought I would just keep plugging away."

In winning the race, she certainly adhered to her philosophy of "plugging away" as she took the lead with two laps to go and kept going all the way to the end, with Calvin gaining silver. She said that when she got in to the home straight she told herself "just give it all you've got, so you don't regret anything.".

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To say that her performance was outstanding is a huge understatement; it was truly inspirational and gives hope to athletes to carry on at an age where most are considering hanging up their shoes.

Pavey's is a remarkable story of an athlete achieving later on in her career despite never winning a major title - until now. It is not that she hasn't tasted success after silvers in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2012 European Championships and she must have thought that second place would be the pinnacle that she would achieve. Now she has a gold medal around her neck with more potential success to come in the 5,000 m later on this week.

She had questioned earlier this year how long she would continue but now says that she has "no thoughts of retiring yet, I'm still enjoying it." Rio in 2016 has now become a distinct possibility and she is not even ruling out the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia when potentially she could be running at the age of 44. In her current form, who would question her commitment?

Coming back after having a family seems to have benefited her rather than been a hindrance.

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She is more content in her personal life and said that often when she goes out for a training session, she is less stressed about it as she is more concerned with getting the children ready. This has allowed her to enjoy her running more and she celebrated her victory by running to her children and husband/coach, Gavin, at the end of the race. You can tell where her priorities lay; she wanted to celebrate with the most important people in her life.

Her performances, alongside Steve Way's record for a 40 year-old in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games, should act as a spur onto anyone who thinks their active days are past them. She has proved that you can overcome challenges through guts and determination and she has managed to combine the thing she enjoys with having a family. Hopefully she will act as an inspiration for the thirty or forty somethings to get active, whether walking, swimming, running or any form of exercise. She has shown that if you put your mind to it, you can still exceed your own expectations. Let's hope she can repeat her success in the 5,000 m and it would be wonderful to see her competing at the next Olympics. If she still wants it and keeps her form, you certainly wouldn't put it past her. #Athletics